Fantasy Attack: Week 9
Scary weekend ahead?
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It’s Week 9! How are your fantasy teams doing?
It’s a tougher week to make recommendations than usual. My Cincinnati Bengals are on a bye week, so there isn’t a running back we can automatically insert into the Fave Five. (Re-branded to 5 Treats this week since I’m writing this on the night before Halloween) The Miami Dolphins are a good team to pick against, but they’re up against the New York Jets this week. Could be a lot of Tricks out there, which we’ll talk about as well.
Some might be expecting me to talk at length about the Andy Dalton situation. But here’s the thing: this is a Fantasy Football column. Dalton hasn’t been relevant in Fantasy all season, and Ryan Finley won’t be either. Neither will AJ Green, but that’s another topic for another time…specifically, if Green ever takes the field. We can only talk about what’s available.
Matthew Stafford: I’ve never bought into Matty Staffy as much as other people have. I always attributed any success he had to Calvin Johnson, and it’s not like he’s guided the Lions to a ton of major victories during his three decades with the team. He’s done quite all right fantasy wise this season though, including two straight weeks over thirty points heading into a game with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have given up the most points at quarterback and there’s little reason to think Stafford won’t go over 300 yards and throw for more than two touchdowns again. Especially since the Lions have no running game left to speak of with Kerryon Johnson out.
Amari Cooper: The Cowboys are coming off of a bye and heading to New Jersey to face a Giants team that’s third-worst against wide receivers this season. Seems like Amari Time to me. The last time Cooper made this trip, two weeks ago, he only played three snaps and the Cowboys lost to the New York Football Jets. Expect a much different outcome this time around.
Dalvin Cook: Cook has remained healthy this season and his owners have reaped the rewards. His lowest scoring game was 11 points, which I would take from two running backs in most of my leagues at this point. I’m not sure if Vikings vs. Chiefs is going to live up to the “shootout” moniker people seem to be giving it, but I am sure that Dalvin is going to get ample opportunity to run over a Swiss cheese-like KC rush defense.
Aaron Jones: We haven’t spent enough time talking about Jones in this column, and now seems as good a time as any considering he scored over thirty fantasy points last week. He was running & receiving all over the Chiefs, and now he’s going to LA for what’s going to be a Packers home game against the Chargers. It’ll be like a 27,000 seat Lambeau Field, which sounds pretty cool actually. Whether he’s carrying or catching the ball, Jones will be putting up points in Los Angeles.
George Kittle: When you first look at Kittle’s numbers you get the feeling that he hasn’t really lived up to the billing of being one of the best tight ends in the league this season. Then you compare him to the rest of the tight ends, and well, he has been one of the best tight ends in the league this season. He gets two games in three weeks with Arizona, who are the worst at covering his position, so his full-season owners should be sitting pretty during the playoff push.
Tom Brady: This is the second time this season that Brady will face something resembling a competent defense. The first time, against the Bills, he got absolutely nothing accomplished. It’s perfectly understandable. Tom is forty-two years old and his wide receiving corps is…well…not outstanding. And this just feels like the kind of game where a young team gets hyped up, knocks off the Patriots in the regular season, then thinks they have a chance in the playoffs. They really don’t, but these kids fall for Brady & Belichick’s trap every single time like it’s a horror movie franchise.
Odell Beckham Jr.: Most of this season has been a trick for Beckham. Hard to believe he’s only had two double-digit showings after seven games, and it’s hard to believe he’ll have a third this week. The Broncos didn’t trade Chris Harris, so the Wildcat will be all up in Odell’s business. Also, I hear it’s snowing in Denver now, so you can just write off any offensive players going there the rest of the season. Including Denver’s offensive players, but that kind of goes without saying these days.
Marlon Mack: Sometimes you just notice a pattern. Marlon Mack’s first game was in double-digit fantasy points. His second game was in the single-digits. His third game was in double-digits. His fourth was in single-digits. It’s continued since then, and he got double-digits last week. The Steelers have a pretty solid rushing defense, so I’m expecting this fun little pattern to continue.
Jason Witten: It’s a little tempting to buy into the idea of Witten returning to Monday Night Football a year after commentating on it & having the most offensively productive game of his 2019 season. That wouldn’t take a whole heck of a lot, but the Giants are pretty good at covering tight ends & Dak Prescott has better options to throw to anyway. Don’t buy into the pregame hype or the Hollywood ending.
3 monkeyknifefight.com Sleepers
Sam Darnold (24% Yahoo-owned) : To say that Darnold has had a rough sophomore season would be an understatement. He missed three games with mono, had one of the all-time embarrassing soundbites on Monday Night Football, and the Jets are 1-6 and going nowhere fast. Why is he here? He’s playing the Dolphins. The guy showed some flashes against the Cowboys his first game back…sure, the last two weeks haven’t been the best, but if you can’t get something going against this Miami team there’s no hope for you. Ever.
Chris Conley (22% Yahoo-owned) : The last two weeks have seen Conley form quite the connection with Gardner Mineshew. 83 yards & a two-point conversion against the Bengals were followed by 103 yards & a touchdown against the Jets. The Texans are meeting the Jags in wacky old England this week, and have given up the second-most points to wide receivers. I picked this guy up and am starting him in a league I have Tyler Boyd in. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been much worse off starting Conley over him most weeks this season.
Tra Carson (6% Yahoo-owned) : Everybody got all excited about Ty Johnson being the new RB1 for the Lions last week. Well, maybe “excited” is over-stating it, but we were all pretty surprised to see Carson draw the start over Johnson. Both got plenty of time to do very little of value, but the Raiders’ defense could be taken advantage of by somebody. Maybe?